Australian fan-aggregating music marketing firm Posse.com has made two key hires to drive its expansion into the U.K., and later the U.S.
From August, Posse will launch in the U.K., where the London-based team will be spearheaded by Brett Volker. A former artist, Volker joins Posse from Virgin U.K. where he was head of brand for their Formula One Racing team. Volker ran V2 Records and V Festival in Australia, and served as brand manager for Virgin Management Asia Pacific.
Google exec Alex North joins the firm in Sydney as product manager, where he will lead product development.
Rebekah Campbell, CEO of Posse.
The focus for the new U.K. business is "very much on music," Rebekah Campbell, CEO of Posse, tells Billboard.biz. "We've spent the last six months refining the platform, which we launched last August in Australia. We now have something which is working very effectively. We now want to it out into other markets." One of those markets is the U.S., explains Campbell, who says tentative plans are to launch stateside before year's end.
The brainchild of artist manager Campbell and agent Brett Murrihy, Posse.com allows music fans to make commission or earn rewards by selling tickets, music and merchandise to their friends and social networks.
"The time is now for a platform any band can use without having to lay out lots of money," she adds.
Sydney-based Posse has tweaked its offering and its business model since it launched last August in Australia. Now, the platform enables bands to offer rewards other than just commissions, such as soundcheck entry or signed merch.
Initially, Posse's business model saw the venture take one third of the commission agreed on by the ticket wholesaler, and two-thirds goes to the fan, who could make between 50 cents to $10 for each ticket they promoted.
Its business model has evolved and Posse no longer takes a share of commission. "We found when bands offered items other than just tickets, it worked better," explains Campbell. "So we didn't want to limit ourselves to a commission only model." Now, Posse's fee is 1%-2.5% of the gross sale.
Posse secured $1.5 million Australian ($1.6 million) in funding last May and a received a $250,000 Australian ($268,000) grant from the government.